Sarko, Ségo Shake Things Up

William Pfaff on how the French election knocked the country out of its doldrums
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted May 31, 2007 12:33 PM CDT
France's new president Nicolas Sarkozy, left, shakes hands with an unidentified woman as he starts a jog from his presidential vacation residence of Fort de Bregancon, near Bormes-Les-Mimosas, southern...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 6 more images

(Newser) – France has been gripped by a serious case of political stagnation, and the recent election between two bright young things—Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal—has smashed it out of its stupor, William Pfaff reflects in the New York Review of Books.

France's real problem was an aging set of political leaders, too deep in collusion with one another. But the election invigorated France. 3.3 million new people registered to vote. A third of the population watched Sarko and Ségo’s feisty debate. Now the French have elected an à la mode candidate who breaks the mold—and, Pfaff says, it’s emerging from the ennui that gripped it. (Read more Nicolas Sarkozy stories.)